A new $1 million-plus ambulance station is one of two new St John stations planned for Rotorua.

St John has confirmed it is planning to open two new stations - a main hub on Te Ngae Rd and a smaller station on Fairy Springs Rd - which it says will bring down response times across the city.

St John regional property and facilities manager Harmen Van Weerden told the Rotorua Daily Post St John had bought the two sites and work was about to get underway on design.

A new station will be built on the Te Ngae Rd site, near the Tarawera Rd roundabout, while the old VTNZ building on Fairy Springs Rd will be turned into another station.

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Both sites would be manned around the clock.

Mr Van Weerden said the current Pererika St site would be kept as a community, administration and training base.

Te Ngae St John operational site. 31 March 2017 Daily Post photograph by Stephen Parker
Te Ngae St John operational site. 31 March 2017 Daily Post photograph by Stephen Parker

While designs haven't yet been done for the Te Ngae Rd hub, it was expected to cost more than $1m to build.

"We puchased a blank canvas on Te Ngae Rd and planned to build the main hub station there.

"A the same time the pieces of the puzzle fell together and the ex-VTNZ building on Fairy Springs Rd became available as well."

Mr Van Weerden said both sites were good strategic locations with Fairy Springs servicing the northwestern side of Rotorua and Te Ngae servicing the northeastern side - with both able to come back in to the centre of town.

He said the two sites would work together, and if all the vehicles were out at one station, the other would respond.

Mr Van Weerden said the new model was a big change but would provide "good efficiency".

"Absolutely we would anticipate we would be much more responsive to emergency calls."

The future of the St John station in Rotorua had been up in the air with the Victoria St Arterial route expected to run through the current station and the building falling into disrepair.

The current station on Pererika St.
The current station on Pererika St.

It wasn't until the scrapping of the route in late 2014 that the organisation was able to move forward with plans for the future.

"It's fallen into place relatively quickly once we decided we were not focusing just on Pererika St. It was almost like the light came on and the opportunity arose."

He said the "rough guesstimate" was that the new Te Ngae Rd station would cost in the vicinity of $1.2 million, while the Fairy Springs station would use the existing building and cost about $150,000.

Fundraising would now get under way to cover the costs.

He hoped they would be ready to start building on the Te Ngae Rd station early next year.

The new facilities would be a huge bonus for staff, he said.

"I think all of it will be positive."

What happens next:
St John bought two sites
Now in the process of engaging architects to design the new station
Concept plans and costs estimates in place
Fundraising will take place to cover the costs